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How to Fly Business Class to Europe for (Much) Less

An all-business-class airline called La Compagnie just announced the launch of five nonstop U.S.-France flights per week, from Newark to Nice, starting in May 2019. Introductory fares start at $1200 round-trip, but that price is limited to the first 1,000 customers to pounce. Even after, however, you can expect regular round-trip fares somewhere between $1500 and $1800 indefinitely, and the occasional sale fares.

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La Compagnie is the only all-business-class airline currently flying across the Atlantic, and it does so at fares far below the giant lines’ asking prices for business class. It has been operating for several years between Newark and Paris’ Orly Airport, sometimes twice daily, using 757s with 74 angle-flat-adjusting seats. The line expects to introduce to the Paris route in April some new A321s that feature 76 lie-flat seats, and it will use the 757s for the Nice flights.

I’ve flown on La Compagnie flights. Its business class product is at the lower end of the range offered by the giant lines. But it’s a great value, typically providing a better product than other lines’ premium economy at lower prices. So if you’re headed for southern France next summer, give La Compagnie a close look.

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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.

By Ed Perkins

A nationally recognized reporter, writer, and consumer advocate, Ed Perkins focuses on how travelers can find the best deals and avoid scams.

He is the author of "Online Travel" (2000) and "Business Travel: When It's Your Money" (2004), the first step-by-step guide specifically written for small business and self-employed professional travelers. He was also the co-author of the annual "Best Travel Deals" series from Consumers Union.

Perkins' advice for business travelers is featured on MyBusinessTravel.com, a website devoted to helping small business and self-employed professional travelers find the best value for their travel dollars.

Perkins was founding editor of Consumer Reports Travel Letter, one of the country's most influential travel publications, from which he retired in 1998. He has also written for Business Traveller magazine (London).

Perkins' travel expertise has led to frequent television appearances, including ABC's "Good Morning America" and "This Week with David Brinkley," "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather," CNN, and numerous local TV and radio stations.

Before editing Consumer Reports Travel Letter, Perkins spent 25 years in travel research and consulting with assignments ranging from national tourism development strategies to the design of computer-based tourism models.

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Perkins lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife.

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